Thursday, 17 November 2016

AiB Bankcentre

Years ago I was trained to design buildings, to participate in its creation process. Over a decade later I ended up archiving them using my cameras and seeing them being demolished on almost frequent basis. Quite a significant metamorphose, isn't it? 

This blog article is exactly about one of such a subjects ….

Before I start, I would like to say that I had quite a difficulties writing this post. 
Sometimes I would prefer to explain everything only through images as this is exactly what I see and what I want to show. Photography is obviously form of my expression but also my passion and profession since a few years. This passion has to be shared with architecture anyway as architecture is actually still in and around me.  
At the same time however I am aware of the fact that I also need a words every now and then.
Some days I can write a lot. My fingers jumping from one key to another. Words are just flowing and all my ideas are being transformed into short stories almost instantly. The other days however I can’t even think about simple sentence, can’t built proper text…I have everything in my head but just can’t transform it into words… 
I see only images… This is what I have since a few days.

It's one of the reasons why I am often enclosing links to articles from magazines, newspapers or online sources. People already wrote many fantastic articles about subjects photographed by me or its creators so why not to share it  and blend it with the effect of my visual perception.

Lets move on then. 

‘Bankers Paradise’, ‘Garden Bank’ … as this one of Ireland's first campus-style business complexes has been already described.

© Artur Sikora

The essence of good taste, discrete, neither imposing nor assertive, a fine example of the demanding art of orderly development. When the balconies are clothed in shrubs and plants we will have nothing less than the hanging gardens of Ballsbridge'

Taoiseach Charles Haughey at the opening of the AIB Bankcentre Ballsbridge, 19 February 1980*
*( 'Garden Bank - AiB Bankcentre'.... from article on )

Beautiful words about incredibly well designed buildings. One of these you can’t just pass without stopping for a while.
Refined and at the same time almost hidden concrete structures gently blended with nature. All of it in Ballsbridge, old Victorian Dublin suburbs just across Royal Dublin Society complex.

© Artur Sikora

© Artur Sikora

AiB Bankcentre was designed by Andrew Devane (1979) of Robinson Keefe & Devane Architects. I found very good article about this important Irish architect (by Emma Gilleece). Please click HERE to read it. I would strongly advice to do so as it gives over all a better perspective. 

© Artur Sikora

I visited AiB Bankcentre for the first time while Open House Dublin 2016 tour organised by Irish Architecture Foundation last month. That was the moment when I made a first photographs and decided to come back to see it better, to kind of contemplate the beauty of all complex. That day happened about a week ago. The last day (at least for now) with beautiful sunlight which I was really hoping for. It allowed me to record all I saw with strong contrast which helps to emphasise the structure and perfect form of my subject.

© Artur Sikora
Here I would like to thank Mr Liam Muldowney who played an immense role in obtaining permission to photograph The Bankcentre and also all security people. Mr Muldowney was also a guide on our Open House tour and introduced us to this incredible object. Really appreciate it.

© Artur Sikora

© Artur Sikora

Time is passing by, the needs of society are changing. This is also, or maybe first of all, about our surrounding.  
Monuments of our culture are being ‘extracted’ one after the other. This is ‘modern’ outcome of such changes and sign of our time …Unfortunately AiB Bankcentre is not the exemption …
4 front blocks were already sold and the permission for its demolition has been granted.

© Artur Sikora

© Artur Sikora
Recently (since a few months) I have an opportunity to record/archive buildings which are on the ‘black list’, buildings which we won’t be able to see in a few years (maybe even months) at all or not in its original form. Fitzwillton House, Bord Fáilte headquarters or Phibsborough shopping centre ...and now ‘Garden Bank’.
It’s like a race against the time. All it can be done now is probably only memorising simplicity of forms, details, functionality of modernist buildings and genuine ideas of its creators, pioneering architects  and innovators of our times.

© Artur Sikora

Presented above photographs it's just a small selection from all I had a chance to make so please follow me on all social media for more updates and to see remaining images.
Links at the top of this blog or directly from my website

Thank you!


Traditionally at the end the list of equipment used for those analogue photographers (like myself) who just would love to know it :)

- Sinar F2 with Schneider-Kreuznach Symmar S 150/5.6 and Super Angulon 90/8, 
  Fomapan 100 4x5 exposed at ISO 50
- Hasselblad 500 c/m with Planar 80/2.8 and Distagon 50/4, 
  Ilford Pan F plus 50 120 
- Holga 120GN with 60mm optical lens, Kodak Tmax400
- Canon EOS 3 with 100/2 and 35/2, Kodak Tmax 400